Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Update on OC Homeless litigation

Attorney Jeff Wild reported Monday:

In the Ocean County Homeless Litigation, a court conference was held today before the Honorable Joseph L. Foster. Although the people of Tent City continue to manage well during the warm weather, it was great to hear Judge Foster express concern about the unsheltered homeless -- and the very real possibility that this winter will not be as mild as the last one. In other developments today:
1. Safety Issue.  Shortly after Lakewood failed in its motion for summary judgment, it blocked off one of the two roads to Tent City -- thereby blocking emergency vehicles from getting in and out of Tent City quickly if necessary. Today, we raised this safety issue with the Court, and Lakewood agreed to restore roads in and out of Tent City.
2. Waste of Taxpayer Money Revealed. Through mediation, we continue to discuss the problem of homelessness with the attorneys for Lakewood and Ocean County.  The scope of the problem, including the current waste of taxpayer dollars on motel rooms for the homeless, is staggering. We have learned that, just in 2011, more than $6.3 million of taxpayer dollars was wasted by Ocean County on tens of thousands of motel rooms and other "band-aid" solutions -- wasting money at a time when Ocean County is also turning away homeless men, women and children, leaving them with no choice but to sleep outside. Concrete proposals are expected to be made soon.  If no solution is reached in the mediation, the litigation will continue.
Thanks to all the members of the Coalition and the homeless who were in the courtroom today, standing in unity. Judge Foster set the next status conference for August 21st at 9 a.m. at the Superior Court in Toms River, Courtroom 3.


The NJ Coalition to End Homelessness, based in Trenton, is dedicated to pursuing emergency and permanent solutions to homelessness throughout New Jersey, where tens of thousands of men, women and children are homeless each year.  NJCEH's Board of Trustees includes leaders from such prominent NJ organizations as the Corporation for Supportive Housing, the Atlantic City Rescue Mission, Homefront NJ,  the Bergen County Housing, Health and Human Services Center, United Way of Hudson County, R. B. Coe Development and Consulting, LLC, and Lowenstein Sandler PC.  For details, see or contact Tonya Bryan, Executive Director, at

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